The tondo was a popular form for Madonna depictions during the quattrocento (Italian style of the 15th century). In Signorelli's work, as was often the case, the Madonna is the focal point. She is turned rather complicatedly in a gesture of adoration for the Child who is standing at her side. The naked figure to the right is an adaptation of a "thorn picker", taken from the Antique. However the actual meaning of the figure has never been adequately interpreted.